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FAYOSE, ORTOM, OTHERS TACKLE PDP OVER SUSPENSION

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Governor-Samuel-Ortom
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The Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday announced the suspension of former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu.

The party said the suspension took effect on Thursday, adding that the decision was reached after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).

The PDP also referred the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.

“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.

Reacting, Fayose, through his media aide, Lere Olayinka, described the suspension by the Senator Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee as “the last kick of a dead horse.”

In a statement titled, “My suspension is Ayu’s last kick of a dead horse – Fayose,” the former governor said, “Ayu and his cohorts are only entertaining themselves with the purported suspension as their latest comedy skit.”

Fayose said he and others who stood by the party when Ayu and his cohorts left it to die would rescue the PDP and give life back in due course, adding, “The purported suspension will have no leg to stand.”

Fayose had, earlier this month, in an interview with Arise TV, attacked his party and Ayu, following the defeat of the  PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the February 25 presidential election.

Then, he said, “This Ayu was the one who led Atiku to the gutters. They took him to the gutters. You see when a man cannot come out. At 80, what does he want to do after that?”

Reacting to a video showing members of a Civil Society Organisation who protested against the outcome of the election in Abuja, Fayose said, “Let me first fault the people I saw here today, that are calling themselves civil society. No, they are PDP members,” he said partly.

Also reacting, Ortom said the PDP  National Working Commitee  against him was acting in contempt of a subsisting Court Order by referring him to the disciplinary commitee of the party for alleged anti-party activities.

Governor Ortom also said that it was contemptous of the party’s leadership to disregard the Court Order which barred the party or any organ of the party from issuing any disciplinary measure against him.

This was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, on Thursday.

“I think the national leadership of our great party is losing its sense of direction. Instead of the leadership to sit  back and think of ways of how to rebuild the party from the ruins of the defeat from the just concluded elections, they are going about chasing imaginary shadows.

“In any case, the first person the party should refer to the disciplinary committee should be the national chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu. The national chairman lost his polling unit, lost his ward, local government, and even the state,” Ikyur said.

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Operators Kick As Maritime Workers Shut Port Monday

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has threatened to embark on an industrial action on Monday over the poor welfare of its members in the shipping sector.

The development has forced some operators in the maritime sector to kick, saying the proposed shutdown would affect their business operations.

However, the President General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, while briefing journalists at its head office in Apapa on Thursday, explained that the group would embark on the strike action over the failure of the management of shipping companies to discuss and negotiate the welfare and condition of service of its members in the shipping sector.

According to Adeyanju, shipping companies have failed to cooperate with the workers’ unions despite several interventions and meetings to have an amicable resolution of the unresolved welfare issues of their members in the shipping sector.

He said that the several meetings culminated in the issuance of a 7-day ultimatum after the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum issued to the shipping companies.

“But the attitude of the Shipping Association of Nigeria is nothing to write home about and that is why we have said there’s a need to inform you. Yesterday, we were at the meeting but it didn’t augur well with the union and we felt it was an embarrassment to the union and even to the Minister of Transport who initiated the idea of having a minimum standard in shipping workers’ remuneration. It’s like the Shipping Association of Nigeria is now running away from their responsibility. So we called this briefing to let you know that the shipping branch of MWUN will be forced to withdraw the services of her members as of Monday 5th of June; because we only suspended the ultimatum. However, we need to renew the ultimatum so we might be forced to withdraw the service of all the shipping workers in the shipping branch.”

The MWUN leader said owing to the unwillingness of the shipping employers to negotiate minimum standards and conditions of service for its members in the shipping sector, the union was left with no option but to resuscitate the earlier 7-day ultimatum issued to the shipping employers in the sector.

He said the former Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, in a bid to ensure a peaceful industrial climate in the shipping sector had directed the management of Nigerian Shippers Council to superintend a collective bargaining agreement meeting between MWUN and all shipping companies in Nigeria.

Adeyanju noted that despite several meetings called at the instance of NSC in their premises, representatives of shipping companies deliberately forestalled the negotiation process.

He said they cited a lack of mandate from their respective principal, insisting on maintaining status-quo.

He said, “If someone gives you projects he intends to execute in the next two years; Nigerian companies, having listened to the opportunities, should go back and continue to build their capacities in readiness to actively participate.”

He also challenged relevant agencies to address the worrisome security challenges, particularly oil theft in the Niger Delta, as this would enable the production of hydrocarbons at reasonable costs and profitability.

Reacting to this, the Founder of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Mr Lucky Amiwero, said, the shutdown would lead to huge demurrage.

He said, “If the shutdown of the ports on Monday happens amid the current fuel crisis, there will be a very serious problem. If they are going to shut down the port you will find out that there would be demurrage on goods, delays in cargo delivery, and a lot of things will go wrong. They are talking about poor welfare, I think that is the reason we need a holistic reform. These ports have been operating for years without reforms. Everyone is operating at cross purposes and it is affecting the economy, once you close down those things, it will boomerang, it is going to be a problem.”

Also speaking, a freight forwarder, Mr Abayomi, Duyile, advised against the shutdown, saying it would affect port operations.

“The problem is that unions will always shut down the port. Shutting down the port for a day or two has terrible consequences. What they are fighting for doesn’t affect agents.

“If you are having issues with the shipping line, you are not supposed to shut down the port. There are others using the ports.”

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Tribunal: I Was Forced To Sign Presidential Poll Result In Kogi – PDP Witness

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The first witness of the People Democratic Party on Thursday, Joe Agada, has alleged that BVAS devices were manipulated in the last presidential election and that he was forced to sign the results as the state collation officer in Kogi State.

Agada who is a retired captain stated this during his cross-examination at the Presidential Election Petition Court where the outcome of the February 25 election is being challenged.

The trained pharmacist, who was identified by the counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission and the cross-examiner, Abdullahi Aliyu SAN as a past witness in 2019 for the petitioners – PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar – informed the court that he had the opportunity of visiting some polling units in some Local Government Areas.

When asked by INEC’s counsel about a purported manipulation of ballot papers and whether it was done in his presence, he answered in the affirmative.

More so, he also alleged that he was present while the BVAS devices were manipulated.

Aliyu had asked, ” You were present while the BVAS devices were also manipulated?”

“Yes, in not less than 20 Polling Units I visited across 2 senatorial districts.”

He disclosed while affirming that he spent between 3 to 5 minutes in the affected areas.

Furthermore, Agada alleged that he was forced to sign the results at the state level by INEC’s officials.

He said he had to sign the forms because failure to do so, he would have been denied a copy to his party.

He said, ” I was forced to sign which I protested because without signing I was going to be denied a copy to my party.”

He, however, admitted that he did not mention the incident in his witness deposition.

ThisDay

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Obi, LP Tender Documents From Six States To Prove Petition Against Tinubu

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The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 presidential election, Mr Peter Obi and his party on Thursday tendered documents from six states of the federation to prove their petitions against the election of President Bola Tinubu.

Although, the petitioners at the resumed hearing on Thursday disclosed that they are challenging the election results in only 18 states of the federation.

The affected states are; Rivers, Benue, Cross River, Niger, Osun, and Ekiti.

Obi and LP had anchored their petitions on grounds that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) violated its own regulations and guidelines in addition to manipulating the process in favour of Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The documents mainly Forms EC8A, which are election results from polling units were admitted and marked accordingly as exhibits by the Justice Haruna Tsammani five member panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PREPEC).

For Rivers State, the petitioners tendered EC8As from 15 LGAs instead of the initial 21 LGAs that was listed, while the results sheets from polling units in 23 LGAs was tendered from Benue State.

In Cross River State 18 EC8A results were also admitted and marked as Exhibits, while 23 in Niger State, 20 in Osun and 16 in Ekiti Local Government Areas, were also admitted in evidence.

Interestingly, INEC which issued the documents and certified them as genuine, joined other respondents to object to the admissibility of the said documents.

The other respondents are President Tinubu, his Vice, Kashim Shetima and the APC.

Meanwhile, hearing continues on June 2.

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